Grief Anniversaries - 8 Ways to Memorialize a Loved One in a Pandemic
As August winds down, I begin to look forward to the fall season. Labor day weekend is often thought of as the unofficial end of summer here in the Midwest. The leaves start changing colors, the temperatures cool, and the orchards open Apple Picking. Starbucks releases it's pumpkin and fall beverages. It's a magical season, and my favorite. Except there's a grief anniversary. And every year, this time, I am reminded of the precious life of a friend, gone too soon.
This marking of the 10th anniversary of her death reminded me just how much I've changed since then. There's been so many losses since then. There's been so much growth since then.
I've learned a lot about grief and grieving, that's for sure, from experts like this guy: https://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/
I love his line "because love never dies". It implies that the loved one will continue to live in your mind and in the mind of those who knew and loved them. What a wonderful way to find meaning. What a way to connect us the living with each other.
I gathered a list of ways I've used to remember the losses in my life. What do you have on your list?
Plant a tree, flower, or garden to memorialize your loved one.
Set a memorial stone or token somewhere you will see it and smile.
Get a tattoo inspired by them.
Buy yourself flowers on the important days.
Light a candle on the important days or whenever you need to feel close to them.
Finish the project you started together.
Write a letter to them.
Share stories of their life with a friend, with their friends, or with a support group.
Overall, just find ways to stay connected to them. Their memory lives on in you. Cue the Lion King soundtrack.